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Panthers reach deal with first-round pick Star Lotulelei

By John Breech |

Carolina agreed to terms with first-round pick Star Lotulelei (kneeling) on Wednesday. (USATSI)
Carolina agreed to terms with first-round pick Star Lotulelei (kneeling) on Wednesday. (USATSI)

Going into Wednesday, the Carolina Panthers were one of only four NFL teams that had yet to sign a single 2013 draft pick. That's not the case anymore, though, because the Panthers now have two draft picks under contract.

First-round pick Star Lotulelei has agreed to terms with the team, according to a tweet from his agents at Rep 1 Sports. The Lotulelei news came hours after the team announced the signing of second-round pick Kawann Short on Wednesday morning.

The addition of Lotulelei and Short, both defensive tackles, should go a long way toward fortifying Carolina's defensive line. Lotulelei was long considered to be one of the top run defenders available in the draft, and Short was considered the best pass defender by Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman.

Lotulelei's stock took a slight dip during the NFL combine in February when he revealed he was dealing with a heart condition. The former Utah star was the No. 14 overall pick in the draft. Short was the 44th overall pick. The Panthers still have three unsigned picks in fourth-rounder Edmund Kugbila, fifth-rounder A.J. Klein and sixth-round selection Kenjon Barner.

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